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Erdogan attacks Greece and Sweden at European Political Community

leaders of eu and neighbouring countries meet in prague
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan attends a news conference during the Informal EU 27 Summit and Meeting within the European Political Community at Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, October 6, 2022. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday there was nothing worth discussing with Greece at the moment and, at the inaugural meeting of the European Political Community, he accused Athens of basing its policies on “lies.”

“They are not where they are supposed to be,” Erdogan told a press conference in Prague. “Their entire policy is based on lies, they are not honest. We have nothing to discuss with Greece.”

Erdogan said Athens understood Ankara’s message when Turkish officials have said “we may suddenly arrive one night” – a comment that Greek and some other Western officials have condemned as a threat to a neighbouring state.

Erdogan then turned his attention to Sweden saying that Turkey would continue opposing Sweden’s NATO membership bid until its demands are met for a tougher Swedish stance against “terrorist organisations”.

“As long as terrorist organisations demonstrate on Swedish streets and terrorists are present in their parliament, our approach to the issue will not be positive,” Erdogan told reporters at the Prague meeting of the European Political Community.

Finally President Erdogan suggested that he could meet with Syrian counterpart Bashar Al-Assad when the time was right and would not rule that out, reinforcing tentative recent steps to thaw ties between combatants in Syria’s war.

“As of now such a meeting is not on the agenda. But I cannot say it is impossible for me to meet with Assad,” Erdogan told a press conference at the Prague meeting of the European Political Community.

“When the right time comes, we can also go to the way of meeting with the President of Syria,” he added.

Any normalisation between Ankara and Damascus would reshape the decade-long Syrian war. Turkish backing has been vital to sustaining Syrian rebels in their last major territorial foothold in the northwest, after Assad defeated the insurgency across the rest of the country, aided by Russia and Iran.

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